Last fall, PresenceLearning presented at the National Alliance for Medicaid in Education (NAME) Conference in Bozeman, MT. In the session, titled “School Based Telehealth Services and Medicaid,” PresenceLearning’s Mark Mantel and Cameron Kilberg joined forces with Kevin Bauer, the Department Specialist at the Michigan Department of Community Health, and Mark Smith, the Agency Lead at Ohio Medicaid in Schools Program for the Ohio Department of Education, to talk about the role of telehealth and Medicaid reimbursement in schools. Bauer pointed out that districts that only hire on-site clinicians (SLPs, OTs, and mental health professionals) may be pigeonholing themselves. There’s a nationwide shortage of qualified clinicians, and some are reluctant to apply for vacancies at hard-to-reach rural districts or at urban districts perceived as unsafe. Districts that don’t have enough on-site clinicians to balance caseloads to recommended levels can struggle to evaluate and serve all their students with special needs. Because districts are relying on on-site clinicians, Bauer said they are not meeting IEP mandates 80% of the time, which creates compliance issues. Smith discussed the benefits districts, clinicians, and students can expect from implementing teletherapy services. Underserved districts now have a practical solution to meet urgent student needs. Districts are…

Becoming an independent telepractitioner can be surprising. If you’ve never provided speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, or mental health services online, you may be surprised by its effectiveness, despite having read the research. You might be surprised to be “virtually” surrounded by hundreds of other clinicians. And you might be surprised by how well you can still connect with students. Corinne Nordin, who has been working as an independent contractor SLP with PresenceLearning since 2013, discussed some of these revelations in a recent interview. Corinne, we are so happy to have you on the team, and thank you for all that you do! Q: Let’s start off with one of my favorite questions. SLPs have the opportunity to work with so many kids over their careers. Can…

The overidentification of students of color for special education has been a major topic amongst educators and special education experts (Dr. Frances Stetson discussed it in her most recent webinar with PresenceLearning). The issue is even being watched at the federal level. The U.S. Department of Education has regulated under Part B of the IDEA that states are required to use a standard approach to assessing and reporting the representation – and over-representation – of racial and ethnic groups in special education programs. Districts must also address areas of over- and under-identification. Overidentification of students for special education is detrimental to both the wrongfully and rightfully identified students. Wrongfully identified students are separated from their general education peers, where they may not have access to challenging…

The team at PresenceLearning will be in Texas, Colorado, and Louisiana in January. We hope to see you at one of these great events! TCASE Great Ideas January 17 – 19 Austin, TX Courage to Risk Conference January 27 – 28 Colorado Springs, CO TASA Midwinter Conference January 29 – February 1 Austin, TX Louisiana CEC Super Conference on Special Education January 30 – 31 Lafayette, LA Would you like to schedule a private demo during one of these conferences? Email sales@presencelearning.com and let us know where you will be attending.

With mainstream technology like Skype and Facetime allowing people to chat face-to-face over long distances, it is a common misperception that teletherapy (also known as online therapy or telehealth) simply uses any videoconferencing tool to allow clinicians to connect with students or patients, perhaps holding up materials and flashcards to the camera as needed. While some therapists do provide services in such a way, this is by no means a best practice. In fact, videoconferencing technology is just one of many factors comprising high quality teletherapy that has consequences for students, parents, clinicians (speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and mental health professionals) and school districts. If you are considering online therapy for your district, be sure to take into account the following factors. How good is the…

This is a guest post by Brett Gallagher, School Partnership Director at PresenceLearning. Digital literacy is an important part of the future for all students. In fact, this is one reason that many districts who have approached PresenceLearning have chosen teletherapy: they wanted more ways to incorporate 21st century skills into their special education offerings. Teletherapy offers more to special education programs than simply filling a staffing gap. If you look at the general education population, students have access to a broad variety of opportunities to develop their 21st century skills, including online courses for AP, gen ed coursework, and credit recovery. Using computers for schoolwork is second nature. Other gen ed classes incorporate online components such as 360 Degree Math and/or Accelerated Reader. Still…

There are many reasons why districts and schools may feel they need more therapists on staff – seasonal spikes, unfilled vacancies, maternity/paternity leave or other factors all contribute to a district’s ability to manage caseloads and serve students. Every week, CASE Weekly Update polls subscribers, many of whom are CASE members, on various special education issues and this poll asked subscribers which of the following positions were top hiring priorities for the 2016-17 school year: Special education teachers School psychologists Speech-language pathologists Occupational therapists Physical therapists Administrative staff (including coordinators, etc.) Other – specify Results revealed respondents were most worried about filling the following positions this year: Special educations teachers – 56% Speech-language pathologists – 25% School psychologists – 13% Bilingual speech-language pathologists and interpreters…

The third and final webinar for our Results Matter: Closing the Achievement Gap webinar series was led by expert on post high school transition strategies Dr. Mary Morningstar. During “How to Improve Transition Results for High School Students with Disabilities” Dr. Morningstar described six academic and non-academic domains special educators can use to address transition challenges and discussed the implications for program level implementation. After the webinar, Dr. Morningstar fielded questions from district leaders, educators, and clinicians moderated by our co-founder and co-CEO Clay Whitehead. Below is a summary of their discussion. Clay: We’ve had so much interest in this topic from our audience, and I’m so glad that you could share your work and your experience with us today. The first question is, what impact do you expect…

This year nearly 30,000 special educators, administrators, clinicians, and parents watched approximately 340,000 minutes of PresenceLearning webinar and video content. Wow! Thank you all so much for tuning in. If you are thinking about catching up on some PD or are just looking for some heartwarming stories from schools around the country, here is our list of this year’s “best of the best.” Why Work with PresenceLearning? Our Clinicians Tell All. Get to know some of the talented people delivering online related services and find out what they love the most about tele therapy. Lost and Found: What Works (and What Doesn’t) for Behaviorally Challenged Students by Dr. Ross Greene In one of our most popular webinars, Dr. Ross Greene unpacks the Collaborative and Proactive…

Monday, November 14th marked the first day of School Psychologist Awareness Week (SPAW). Every year, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) selects a theme for the weeks’ celebration and the 2016 theme is “Small Steps Change Lives.” NASP chose this theme to show how taking small steps can “build greater successes” and help develop the “academic and social-emotional skills students need to promote personal achievement, growth, and resilience, as well as a sense of belonging and wellbeing.” NASP is offering free informational and promotional resources for schools looking to honor SPAW. Access a list of suggested activities for students and adults Download the 2016 SPAW poster and bookmarks Read SPAW 2015 activity highlights Follow all SPAW tweets using the hashtag “#SmallStepsChangeLives” NASP also wants to know what activities and programs your school hosted to recognize SPAW. Those who complete this feedback form will be entered to win one of five NASP prizes. PresenceLearning values the hard work school psychologists do to help children in need. In addition to behavioral interventions and mental health services, the company is now offering services that will help balance school psychologists’ overflowing caseloads. As part of an exclusive agreement with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH),…

© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | PresenceLearning makes live, online special education services available to K-12 students anytime, anywhere. As the leader in the delivery of clinical services via the web, PresenceLearning has provided over one million sessions of speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral interventions and mental health services, assessments, and early childhood services.